Big Uncle Is Watching You

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 12:14 pm

I’ve just about had it.

In 2001, our house was burglarized, so we put in an alarm system.

Last month our mailbox was rifled. We’re working on convincing our block to get a bank of locking mailboxes.

Last week, in the wee hours of the morning, our roommate’s car was broken into while parked in our driveway.

Our neighbor Diane had an interesting explanation for the recent rise in property crime. She told me that everyone she knows who lived in Des Moines (the quasi-swanky coastal community just south of us) who could afford to do so has moved out in the last five years, because residents of Federal Way (the not-so-swanky community south of Des Moines) were coming up into Des Moines to burglarize houses, cars and mailboxes. Now that Des Moines has been thoroughly picked-over, the criminals have simply moved up the highway one stop, to sunny, naïve Normandy Park.

So….here come the cameras.

Four years ago, I was all bent out of shape about having to become one of those “alarm guys”, and now I’m going to put up security cameras. I feel like a complete ass. I am now officially an Embattled Suburban White Guy, defending my castle from the barbarian hordes. (Could Republicanism be far behind? 8-O)

But I can’t handle it any more. I hate, I mean really hate, the feeling of being under siege. Every time I leave my house I picture an army of meth tweakers circling it like buzzards, waiting to see if it twitches or if it’s safe to land and join the feast. A guy came to the door last week selling “magazine subscriptions” and I wanted to jab him in the solar plexus with a nightstick just for showing up at my door unannounced.

Anyway, neurotic self-examination aside, I’ve decided to hang small wireless network cameras in each of our three most vulnerable points-of-entry: the windows in the garage and basement, and the sliding glass door in the back. We know for a fact that the last bunch that burglarized our house checked out every door and window at ground level before choosing the garage window; at that sort of range, I think I’m quite likely to get an excellent mug shot. I’m probably going to go for a set of D-Link DCS-900W Wireless Network Cameras.

Since I’m already hosting a Web server in-house (you’re soaking in it), I’m going to coordinate the cameras using a nifty program for OS X called SecuritySpy, which will allow me to sort images by motion detection, store them locally and also upload them to the parcel of Web space provided by my ISP, in case someone runs off with my Web server. I can also have SecuritySpy email me when a motion-triggered image is captured. Perhaps I’ll get a chance to reenact the drama of the thief who got nailed by a Web cam in February of this year.

So, just a word of warning to friends, family members, door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesmen, and the human garbage that prey on suburban homeowners: Big Uncle is watching you.

And He feels terrible about it.

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